Dedication and Hard Work Will Help You Repay the Loan: Kalpana Tharu

March 4, 2020

Born to a low-income household, Kalpana Tharu couldn’t continue her education beyond the elementary level and got married at a young age. Kalpana and her husband Ram Narayan Tharu started earning their living as daily wage earners. They didn’t have much property for farming as they got just a small hut during the division of her husband’s family property.

Kalpana wanted a better life and secure future for her two sons and knew she had to get rid of their poverty to achieve this. However, it wasn’t easy to rise above the subsistence living; she did try to improve her earnings but there was no one in the community to help her financially.

Things changed for Kalpana when Kisan Cooperative Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha started services near her home in Samitipur through their Tikapur branch. She became a member of the microfinance institution but it took a while for her to apply for a loan. “I knew I could get a loan from Kisan to start a business, however, I was scared that I would not be able to repay the loan. I had no idea how to start a business,” Kalpana recalls. It was her husband who gave her the motivation and assurance to work towards her dream. He suggested they start selling vegetables and said, “If we both work hard we will be able to earn enough and repay the loan”.

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Kalpana started her small business as a vegetable hawker with a loan of NPR 20,000 from Kisan Cooperative. She sold vegetables worth NPR 5000 the very first day and this gave the couple the motivation to work even harder. While she sold vegetables at the Tikapur Bazaar, her husband took the responsibility of collecting vegetables every morning. Kalpana also took care of the finances and bookkeeping. The vegetable business brought steady income and their financial situation improved. “We were able to save enough to pay the loan,” says Kalpana.

They started planning to expand their business; Kalpana took a second loan – NPR 50,000 – and set up a vegetable shop in Hong Kong Bazaar of Tikapur. The couple has been constantly striving to grow their business. Ram Narayan, who used to carry vegetables on a bicycle, bought a motorbike so that he could collect more produce for the shop. “With a motorbike, I could get vegetables even from distant places and more in quantity also,” said Ram Narayan.

The increase in the sales and demand of the vegetables inspired them to develop their shop to a wholesale vegetable business. They needed more money for this business expansion. Kalpana applied for the Kisan Sakchyam Business Loan of Kisan Cooperative to meet the need for more capital.

Designed and developed with support from Sakchyam Access to Finance programme the business loan is for Kisan Cooperative’s members like Kalpana who are looking to expand their enterprise/business. The scheme has provision for a collateral-free loan from NPR 150 to 400K to help member entrepreneurs in need of capital. The product was pilot-tested for six months through Lamki and Tikapur branches of the Kisan Cooperative.

Kalpana took a loan of NPR 300K under this scheme and her shop have become one of the most in-demand wholesale vegetable shops in Tikapur. The couple’s hard work and dedication have enabled them to take their business from a vegetable cart to a wholesale shop. This thriving business has even made it possible for them to shift to a brick and mortar house from the hut where they had been living.

When asked about her inspiring journey, Kalpana pointed out that the ingredients of a successful business include hard work, perseverance, determination and honesty. “Your dedication and diligent effort will help you repay the loan and yes, you also need a strong business plan,” explains Kalpana who is living her dream.

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